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success over the long haul.


The sport boat captains always have their deck hands chopping fresh frozen squid because, when packaged and stored properly, squid is one of the best cod baits around. If you’re a private boater and do not have access to fresh frozen squid, the San Pedro Bait Co. brand at most local tackle shops is a worthy substitute. Avoid the bleached out trays wrapped in plastic.


Get on a school of hungry rock fish and they literally will eat just about any local bait or jig you choose to send down.


Another alternative that stays fresh


without refrigeration is Berkley’s Gulp! baits. After years of field testing on the Aloha Spirit, Apollo, and Pacific Queen, the respective sport boat captains claim the Berkley Gulp! 4-inch Swimming Mullet in red or white or the Berkley Gulp! 5-inch Jerk Shad in camo or white are some of the best cod baits on the market.


Photo by Bob Hoose


sport boat, you may want an extra foot of length to help extend out over the railing, especially when fishing up on the bow.


RIGGING UP


Get on a school of hungry rock fish and they literally will eat just about


TIDE


any local bait or jig you choose to send down. Those occasions when it just doesn’t matter what bait you use are the stuff that memories and great fish stories are made of. However, just like surface gamefish, bait selection will make the difference on your rock fish


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The Gulp! baits, mentioned above, and squid strips are deadly effective on small sharp circle hooks. I have tried J hooks on rock fish, but fishing at depths up to 60 fathoms I’ve found that circle hooks do a much better job of hooking and holding the fish on the long retrieve to the surface. A popular cod rig is just a simple double-dropper loop rig, but it is important to allow 18 to 24 inches between the dropper loops so the fish don’t tangle on the retrieve. I like to use 25- to 30-pound clear monofilament for the leader, which will attach to the main line.


Bring plenty of torpedo sinkers


from 8 ounces on up to 16 ounces on local cod trips. At the end of the leader, make a 4-inch loop which will allow a quick change out of torpedo sinkers just by sliding the loop thru the eye rings of the torpedo sinker. Consider wrapping your torpedo sinkers with silver duct tape so they don’t scratch


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